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March 5, 2013

Super Bowl win turns into big money

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Joe Flacco knows his stature as the highest-paid player in NFL history may not last for long, and he’s OK with it.

What matters most to the Super Bowl MVP is that the Baltimore Ravens were willing to pay him that kind of money in the first place.

Flacco signed his new contract Monday worth $120.6 million over six years. He will receive a $29 million signing bonus, $52 million in guaranteed money and $51 million over the first two years of the deal.

The former first-round draft pick out of Delaware is the first starting quarterback in NFL history to make the playoffs in each of his first five seasons. He’s led the Ravens to nine wins over that span, tying Tom Brady for most among quarterbacks in the first five years of a career.

Flacco threw 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions during the recent postseason and led Baltimore to a 34-31 Super Bowl win over San Francisco.

And it all made the Ravens willing to pay him more money than Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or any other of the great quarterbacks in the game today.

“When guys that are drafted in the first round, when guys that win football games for you, quarterbacks like that, when the time comes up for those guys to get paid, they usually become the highest paid guy in the league,” Flacco said. “I’m sure in a couple of months from now, someone is going to sign a deal, and you guys are going to be talking to them about how they are the highest paid guy in NFL history. That’s just the name of the game.

“I know that this isn’t going to hold up for that long, but that’s not a priority of mine to be the highest-paid guy. The priority of mine was to get that respect that I felt, that I feel now from this organization.”

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